This week the reproductive justice movement is celebrating a significant victory. Effective December 14, immigrant women and girls will no longer be forced to get Gardasil, a vaccine developed by Merck and Company to prevent transmission of the strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) linked to cervical cancer. This marks the reversal of a harmful and discriminatory rule originally put in place in July 2008 by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that took away the ability of immigrant women and girls to make informed choices of whether or not to get the Gardasil injection.
The regimen of shots for HPV, which is sexually transmitted, costs $360, creating additional financial and legal barriers for green card applicants. Also,
…progressive groups acknowledged that the mandatory use of a medical procedure on a targeted population when it is not required of the general population is discriminatory. Like their U.S. citizen counterparts, all prospective immigrant women should have the opportunity to make an informed decision about their use of the HPV vaccine, weighing both the potential costs and health benefits of using the vaccine.
The vaccine is recommended but not required for the general population.